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Felony DUI Under California's Three Strikes Law

If you were recently arrested for a felony DUI and you have a criminal record, you may be worried about California’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law, which California voters enacted in 1994 after the tragic murders of Kimber Reynolds and Polly Klass. Under this law, a life sentence was imposed for almost any crime, regardless how minor, if the defendant had two prior convictions for serious or violent crimes as defined under the California Penal Code.

The purpose of the three strikes law was to keep the murderers, rapists and child molesters behind bars, but the law backfired. What ended up happening is about half of the inmates serving sentences under the law were doing so for non-violent crimes, such as driving under the influence or drug possession.

Three Strikes Reform Act

In 2012, voters enacted The Three Strikes Reform Act, otherwise known as “Proposition 36” to do something about the harsh, unintended consequences of the three strikes law. Prop. 36 eliminated life sentences for non-serious, nonviolent crimes. It also established a procedure for inmates sentenced to life for a minor, third strike crime to ask the court for a reduced sentence.

In the first eight months of Prop. 36 being enacted, more than 1,000 prisoners were released from custody. According to Stanford Law School, Prop. 36 saved California’s taxpayers as much as $13 million.

Was DUI Your Third Strike?

If you were convicted of two serious or violent felonies and you’re facing felony charges for a DUI, you need to discuss your case with a DUI attorney. Can you get a strike for a DUI? The short answer is yes, especially if the DUI involved serious injuries or death. If you have two prior convictions for felonies and you are convicted of felony DUI, there is a good chance that it will be considered a strike.

One way to tackle a felony DUI case is to fight your current charge to get it dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor. In any case, you will benefit greatly by engaging a hard-hitting defense lawyer.

If you’re facing a three-strike case with your DUI, contact our office immediately to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI attorney who is Board Certified in DUI defense!